What are the large and small acts of resistance that have brought us to today?

How can librarians and archivists help people make  more meaningful connections between past and present acts of resistance?

What previously untold stories of resistance should be preserved, shared, and told?

Who is important to Philadelphia’s resistance history? Who is creating a history of resistance right now? How will future generations know about them?


To begin answering these questions, we’re holding a series of community listening sessions. 

At these events, our project director and an archivist will be facilitating discussions between activists, archivists, and the general public about resistance, archives, and their existing and possible impact on one another. We expect a portion of the listening sessions to consist of audience members sharing their own experiences (positive or otherwise) with institutional archives and asking questions about the process of preserving their papers. All listening sessions are FREE and open to the public. If you’re interested in having us host a listening session for your organization, please fill out our contact form and send us a message.

Upcoming Listening Sessions:

Thursday, January 31, 5:00-7:30 pm, “Remembering Resistance, Collecting Community: An Evening of Story Circles,” Girard College, Founder’s Hall (2101 S College Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19121). To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the integration of Girard College and the acts of resistance that made it possible, we invite you to share your memories of resistance. Bring a document or object you own that’s part of your individual, family, or community resistance narrative. Your story can relate to education, race, gender, class, work, the environment, your neighborhood, or any other subject that’s important to you! All in attendance will have an opportunity to share their story with 6-12 people in a small group story circle. Explore the oral history exhibit, “Opening the Gates: Desegregating Girard College,” and tour Founder’s Hall Museum from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. All ages welcome! Childcare and parking provided onsite. Register here.

  • Friday, February 8, 7:00 pm Uncle Bobbie’s Café, following a screening of Sisters in Freedom
  • Saturday, February 16, 4:30 pm Parkway Central Library, in conjunction with exhibits, Philadelphia: The Changing City and At the Crossroads: The Legacies of Frederick Douglass and W.E.B. Du Bois. Registration recommended.
  • Wednesday, March 6, 5:00 pm Haverford Branch, Free Library of Philadelphia Discussion follows a screening of Sisters in Freedom
  • Tuesday, March 19, 4:00 pm Paschalville Branch, Free Library of Philadelphia Discussion follows a screening of Sisters in Freedom

We are planning listening sessions through April 2019. Please check back regularly for updates and more information.

Previous Listening Sessions: 

Wednesday, December 12, 6-8 pm, “Uncovering Women of Color in Time, Place, and History” (Read a recap of the session on our blog.)

Wednesday, November 28, 6-8 pm “Archiving Our Own” (Read a recap of the session on our blog.)

Get Involved

If you’d like to have us host a listening session with your organization, please fill out our contact form and send us a message.

Additionally, we are collecting responses to three primary questions to help us focus the trajectory of our work for the next phase of Chronicling Resistance, Enabling Resistance. Some responses may be included in the final report to our funder, but we will not sell your information to a third party. We would greatly appreciate it if you would share your thoughts below and spread this page among your networks.

Are you a PACSCL member organization looking for ways to spread the resistance narratives in your collections? Tell us more here.